tv House Minority Leader Pelosi News Conference CSPAN December 21, 2017 10:58am-11:35am EST
hours we would consider that a great sign of respect for your committee. >> let me assure you they have great respect for this committee. and they have appointed each of you. we have made sure that our committee to a person is not only the finest in our conference but here of equal value to each other and we do appreciate that. but this is a representative of our party right here that you see. we speak not as one voice but we speak as one team. so i know that you engage us every day. literally i consider the strength of this team not just one person or the other. >> you know, earlier i want to address something mr. burns said that somehow mrs. pelosi or the democrats are holding something hostage. one has to recognize that the
democrats in congress have no ability to hold anything hostage. we're the minority here. we're trying to make motions. they will likely be outvoted. >> our coverage of the house rules committee meeting will continue. we will leave it here for a briefing with house minority leader nancy pelosi. i have been up at the rules committee pleading with them to give us a vote on the d.r.e.a.m. act on the cr that will come up today. it's a matter of public record. i don't know that we've had too much success in that regard. but it is an interesting week as we prepare, hopefully, to go home soon. and i don't know when that is. just in terms of yesterday, republicans took a victory lap because they successfully sold
america's children's future by handing tax breaks to corporate america and the wealthiest. it's an amazing thing, because they have been talking about it being a bill that's a tax cut for middle class families when 83% of the benefits go to the top 1%. that is an immorality. 86 million middle class families face a tax hike. health care premiums spike by 13 more americans possibly uninsured leading to a smaller pool and higher premiums. they are saying they have closed loopholes. these are some of their selling points. you probably know by now that they closed loopholes. this bill is a loophole lol
lollapalooza. how could it be that the president was on the campaign trail saying he was going to close the carried interest loophole and congress said, not so fast, mr. president. it's there as are a continuation of many other loopholes. that's a false argument. they said this was going to be simplicity. they say they were going to have seven brackets and go down to four. well they're at seven. there isn't simplicity there. they said you could send it in on a postcard. it would have to be a very large postcard. then their friends at goldman sachs and others said we'll have minimal growth. the president said he was going
to level the playing field with overseas nations and other overseas companies. actually he ships breaks overseas by giving corporations breaks to ship jobs overseas. s in -- this is a welcome debate that we have. they said this is going to be a big campaign issue for them. we welcome that. we welcome that. but this is -- they are going to provoke teach-ins around the country of people saying this is about our future. this isn't about democrats, this isn't about republicans. it's about america. it's about our future. this is a moment where people have the resolve to say, don't throw me a crumb and tell me that i'm benefitting when you're robbing the future by increasing the debt, rewarding the rich as
you ransack the middle class. in any event this is an interesting year. it's only part of ran interean g year. ipyrick victory. the republicans have spent the entire year rigging the system even further for special interests and against hard working people. republicans worked to dismantle the watchdogs on wall street and consumers back into forced arbitration agreements. the consumer financial
protection bureau, to undermine that, to undermine dodd-frank, initiatives to prevent what happened in 2008 from ever happening again, they want to get rid of that. they say they're getting rid of regulation. they're getting rid of protections. they make it easier to pollute the air our children breathe and the water our children drink. they eve d they've dismantled net neutrality and given isps to sell your information to anyone without your consent. republicans voted six times to attack women's health and tried to tear away women's access to affordable contraception. months trying to kick tens of millions off health insurance, destroy protections for preexisting conditions and impose an age tax on people 50-64. now the president is under some
other illusion he's repealed the affordable care act. he's damaged it, but he hasn't repealed it. i don't know if he knows that. but no infrastructure bill. where's that famous infrastructure bill that was going to be the first thing out of the gate? not a single bill to raise wages and create jobs for hard working americans. nothing that puts the middle class first. republican-controlled washington has been an all you can eat buffet for the privileged and powerful and special interests. it's like they know they're going to lose the congress. they're taking everything they can get to give away to corporate america. it's so obvious. after spending this entire year on give aways for the special interest, congress faces a huge list of urgent, overdue and bipartisan priorities for the american people. we have very serious concerns about the continuing resolution
that is on the floor. we don't have an agreement on an ongoing appropriations bill for next year because we do not have agreement on the caps. for tho the budget agreement required parity. they call parity 54-37. 54 for defense, 37 for domestic increase. we don't call that parity. we call that disparity. one of the concerns we have is the number between the domestic budget and the defense budget at 17 billion is important because it would be to address the opioid epidemic. 63,000 people died in our
country in 2016 from the opioid epidemic, lowering the life expectank tack tan -- expectanc country. chip and our community health centers, they have in a bill that children are paying for their own health care. we don't think that's right. especially when they give $1.5 trillion to corporate america unpaid for and permanently. this is a five-year bill for children which we agree should be offset. we're a pay as you go party, but not to take it from children's inoculation, lead poisoning initiatives and the rest in order to pay for that. we have been having bipartisan discussions on how to pay for chip, but they instead went their old way.
emergency disaster funding, we have to do that right. saving pensions, passing the d.r.e.a.m. act. what we have said to them is everything we are suggesting to you is bipartisan, opioids, veterans, nih funding and the d.r.e.a.m. act. but the republicans decided the tax breaks for the wealthiest 1% for more important than addressing the crisis and lives of the american people. the same short-term republican cr on the floor today will needlessly keep a shadow of fear and uncertainty over our d.r.e.a.m.ers. i just spent almost 2 1/2 hours in the rules committee pleading with them to do this justice. and they're talking about comprehensive immigration. i said that's fine. we need to talk about comprehensive immigration reform. but my colleague, the chair of
the hispanic caucus made an excellent point. she said we're talking about chip as a very discrete children's health program and we all agree we have to fund it and pass it. that doesn't mean we have to wait until we do everything everybody wants to do on health care in order to do this. same thing with the d.r.e.a.m.ers. it's a discrete emergency that we have now. let's deal with that in a discrete way instead of saying we have to wait until we do everything we want to do on immigration. so we'll see what happens today on the floor. republicans come to us for votes and we said we have been in the discussion on what's in this bill. and what's in this bill we have strong disagreement with. the chairman of our ranking member on the veterans affairs committee sent a letter yesterday to members opposing
the bill for how it treats veterans in the cr. our ranking member on energy and commerce is opposing the bill for how it deals with chip. so substantively we have problems with this bill. we do see it as an opportunity for them to at least allow a vote on dreamers, which we think we would win. hopefully we've made some progress in their thinking that as to the urgency of it. but they were not aware of the fact that every day over 120 d.r.e.a.m.ers lose their status, which means if they work, they can't. it changes your legal status. well over 10,000 already have lost their status. and they're saying we can wait
until march. well, we can't. that's an act of cruelty to say we can wait until march when people are losing their status every day. the american people deserve a congress that puts their priorities first, not ones that stack the deck against working families. we should be working together in a bipartisan way for comprehensive approach to tax reform. this is not reform. this is tax cuts for the rich and in an unfair way. tax reform is only effective if it has sustainability. therefore, it has to be bipartisan, which means you have to compromise. we hope to make that case to the american people, because we believe that america deserves a better deal, better jobs, better wages and a better future. and that better income -- what's interesting, you know, they talked about this bill. this is something that was just given to me. they talk about this bill,
corporations are going to raise everybody's salaries, wages because they have these breaks. over the past several weeks in anticipation of this bill, major companies have announced an astonishing $87 billion in share buybacks, anticipating the passage of the bill. that's reason that so many executives have said would lead to more jobs. those jobs are overseas. at&t made a big announcement that they were going to give a bonus to their workers as kind of a pin a rose on this tax bill. that bonus was mandated by union agreement with the communications workers of america as part of a raise in
their last agreement. so all of a sudden they're advertising something they did because of the tax bill. most corporate executives have not gone on record to say i'm going to hire more people, i'm going to raise more wages. when we say creating jobs and raising paychecks, that's part of our better deal, lower the cost of living by lowering the cost of prescription drugs, cracking down on monopolies that raise cost for families and hurt competition and give every american the tools we need for the 21st century jobs, apprenticeships, lifetime learning, paid on the job training. on that score, it's interesting to note, they've now created a big increase in the national debt. what are we going to do about it? we're going after medicare and medicaid. they've even said this week, raise the age on social
security. that will be part of our fight in this year to say you maybe using that big debt as an excuse to do what you've always wanted to do. you've never believed in medicare and medicaid and social security and now you're going to go after them. but that will be part of the fight we'll have and part of our teach-ins across the country about how harmful this bill is, how the need for change to it will be addressed and how the consequences of it in terms of medical ca medicare and medicaid and social security will be affected. but that's a debate that we welcome. so it's a busy time we'll see what happens the rest of the day. i don't know how long we'll be here. i wouldn't make any plans the next couple of days. kw who knows when they take their votes? we'll see what the senate does with what they send over. yes, sir? >> on entitlement reform, do you
think it's something that's even possible in this congress? and if so, what are some of the things democrats could get on board with? >> well, the fact is that this is part of the starve the beast value system that the republicans have. they do not believe in governance, so any public role in the health or well-being of the american people is on their hit list. and so when they go after the entitlements, it's not because it's an increase in the deficit, because they clearly don't care about increasing the deficit. they care when it's going to help children. oh, we can't do that because it's going to increase the deficit. but when it's giving tax breaks to corporations, it doesn't matter anymore. that's a completely separate subject as to how we sustain -- as we did in the affordable care act, we prolonged the life of
medicare for over ten years, maybe 13 years. social security is in reasonable shape until at least 2030-something. but nonetheless we want that to be even longer. these are issues that can be talked about separately. but we will fight to defend them, because they are about the health and economic security of america's working families. and we will not use medicare and medicaid and social security as an atm machine for the republicans to give tax breaks to their wealthy friends and corporate america. >> with all due respect, you could call paul ryan and you could keep the government open for two more weeks if you wanted to. democrats could do that. and that would give americans the peace of mind of knowing that their government was going to stay open. why not vote to keep the government open? >> wait a minute. wait a minute.
news break, the republicans control the congress. they control the house, they control the senate and they have the signature in the white house. they have the votes to keep government open. they have the votes to keep government open. they don't need us to keep government open. we've never been about shutting document down. if you want i'll tell you a story that i just told them up in that rules committee because they were talking about work together. they said a long time ago government shut down. it was just a few years ago when they shut government down. it was at a moment similar to this except a few months earlier, leading into the end of the fiscal year in september. it's really important for you to know this and perhaps some of you remember it. we had come to an agreement, bipartisan, with the white hou that we would have a $1.58
trillion top line for the budget and that the appropriators would write bills under that number. we didn't love the number to death, but it was a compromise. that was how we proceeded. when we're about to allocate that instruction to the appropriators, other republicans in the house said, not so fast. they'd already agreed to it, but they rethought it and said, not so fast, we want 988 billion. their chairman mr. rogers of the appropriations committee said, we cannot meet the needs of the american people at that number, republican chairman. we cannot meet the needs of the
american people at that number. our members were very unhappy because this was really a disservice to the debate we had before and meeting the needs of the american people. they were criticizing it and saying they were never going to vote for it. so we talk to the september 30th deadline and they're still insisting on 988. barack obama said, okay, if that's what keeps government open, we'll agree to 988. the senate democrats, 988. the senate republicans, 988. this was the house republican budget number. i call mr. boehner and i said we cannot shut government down napna. that's wrong for the american people. as much as my members despise what you're doing, i'll give you 200 votes to keep government open. that's how many democrats we had.
i'll give you 200 votes. that took a lot of calming of the waters. you know what he said? i can't bring up the bill. i said, wait a minute. everybody, the president, senate, democrats and republicans, house democrats now agreeing to the republican house number are giving you what you want. he said, i can't bring it up. i don't have the votes. i said you don't have 18 votes? i can't bring it up with 18 votes. what was that about? the only people not agreeing to the house republican budget number were the house republicans members. they shut down government. 17 days later government reopened. many of the people who voted to shut it down and keep it closed are in the leadership of this congress now, mulvaney being one. the responsibility on keeping government open is with the majority and we have never
advocated shutting government down and they have the votes, they can keep government open. if they want us to vote for some bills, they have to have some cooperation what they are and not bills that are veterans affairs the ranking member says are not right for children or our chip that the chairmildren' health chairman says is not right for our children. i did have a conversation with the speaker this morning. we wrote the bill. you don't like it -- let's talk about some of this language, but no. >> do americans care about this at this point? >> that's not the point. they have the votes to do it. everybody's a devil's advocate
on why -- we've never been advocates for shutting government down. we're not shutting government down. hopefully it's not going to be shut down. we'll see what their vote is today. >> today's cr includes additional new funding for chip through march. do you see that as an olive branch? >> no. >> as a catholic christian at this time of year, is there a special significance to you to defend the funding for chip? >> no. here's the thing about chip. the chip bill was one of the first bills when we took the majority and had a president so we could get a signature on chip, it's one of the first bills we passed house and senate when we took the majority. this has been a part of our values system, our children's health. but the question is how is it paid for. and the reason that we voted against the bill they had earlier on the floor for chip is because they paid for children's
health by having children pay for it as i mentioned earlier. whether it's lead poisoning, inoculation, they're taking money out of the prevention fund to the extent that it would be harmful to children. we said that's just wrong. we've been engaged for the last several weeks on bipartisan conversation on how we can fund this in a better way. we had hope that they would put something like that in this bill, but they reverted to their form erber bill, the walden bil. that is not any olive branch at all. that's saying to kids once again, you have to pay for yourselves. and this is coming out of money that is necessary and needed for children's health. that's why mr. palone, our ranking member on the energy and commerce committee, is opposing that. no, it's not any olive brargnch. we're so close to agreement, but
they chose to go that other route. i don't know why. yes, sir? >> democrats do have some leverage here to be able to force a consideration of doctrindocaca. >> daca is one point in this. opioids, veterans, nih, we're talking about bipartisan initiatives that have to be part of this parity that is part of the budget agreement. you know, they walk away from agreements and you're like, wait a minute, parity is part of the agreement. now, i also remind that in the domestic discretionary non-defense budget, veterans, state department, homeland security, anti-terrorism activities of the justice
department. so there's a big, strong national security piece that is in the domestic budget. so we don't want to be shortchanged for that, what contribution that is and also other measures of our strength, including attacking the opioid epidemic that we need to do, putting more funds there for our veterans that we need to do. these are not even partisan issues. >> your party's been insisting that the daca issue be addressed this year and this is the last week. >> well, this is the last time that they kick the can down to afford the omnibus in january. it's this year extended. that's the process. we've never done that before that i remember and i'm an appropriator. nonetheless, we're going to continue the conversation. again, it is a discrete piece of
the issues that we want to deal with in a larger way in terms of comprehensive immigration reform, which we must address. and that the senate passed in a bipartisan way but speaker boehner refused to bring up on the floor unfortunately in the house. yes, sir? >> you touched on this a little bit in your opening. how would you characterize your relationship with the president right now amid the ebbs and flows? i see you've negotiated various deals, but how would you characterize it after a year? >> i don't think we've accomplished much together. i think we have a good rapport. i don't think we've accomplished much together. we thought we had an approach to -- he likes to call it daca with his hand like that, daca,
not d.r.e.a.m.ers. i think we will find a path there of completely l lly total disagree with the tax bill, which i think does violence to the visions of our founders, does violence to the aspirations of our children by robbing their future and does violence by pillaging the middle class. let me say this to the president. maybe he's listening. who conned whom? he told the american people that he was going to stop jobs being shipped overseas. that's exactly what they do in this bill. he told people he was going to close the carried interest loophole. that's exactly what they didn't do in this bill. he told people he was going to have a middle class tax cut. that's exactly what they didn't do in this bill. the list goes on of things that he said out there on the campaign trail that the
republicans said. you know what's interesting about that? nothing. we're just going triegt doirigh we would have done anyway. i think they've ignored some of the priorities that the president, i think, was sincere about when he made his appeal to the american people. so i just wondered how he -- well, who knows, to use the word loosely, thinking about what he had to sign yesterday. but what he signed was a betrayal of his campaign promises on the campaign trail. yes, sir? >> speaker ryan said he's starting to feel a little wind coming towards the gop in their face as far as 2018 goes. are you feeling a breeze coming up behind you? and how strong it? you said that you believed the house republicani ins were goin
lose the house. >> i had it at 11:05. you said they're going to lose congress. >> i said they're acting as if they're losing congress because they're stealing the silver. they're taking all the valuables out of the house right away. we've got a donor-based values system. their donors demanded this bill and they got the bill for the donors. we'll see what else the donors, wholly own subsidiaries of the national rifle association, they're a wholly owned subsidiary of the fossil fuel industry for example. what else will they be parsing out to them as they -- they're acting like people who know that their power is short lived. it's interesting. i don't place a whole lot of confidence in all of these double digit polls. the most recent was was
yesterday. 18 points, democrat or republican. i'll take half of that, nine. that's enough to win the congress. i think everybody poll now is double digit that people would vote for democrat over republican. this isn't about politics. we don't come here to do politics. we come here to make things better for the american people. this tax bill really in some ways is an opportunity to show. how many times have you heard people, i don't know the difference between republicans and democrats? okay. here it is. trickle down economics, tax cuts for the wealthiest and corporations increasing the deficit at the expense of the middle class. you have that. and then you have our better deal, better jobs, better pay, better future. better future for rural america, better future for women and the rest. this is really a big opening.
the door is open. the presidents numbers are in the 30s. i think probably his numbers and the support for the tax bill are probably similar. some of these folks are probably giving him the benefit of the doubt. but most people know that they're not getting any tax break in this bill. so it will be an interesting year, because it's not about issues. it's about values. and what is the value of our country when we're saying this is who we are as a nation, a land of opportunity where fairness is a value. they don't see it in what they're doing. it's a challenge to us to not only criticize what they have done but to connect with our message. we know how to do that. we did it in 2005 and 2006. that was the last time congressional democratsed that mica -- had the microphone. we set out to win the congress.
president bush was at 58 in january, 38 in september, approximately where president trump is now. that opens the door for great candidates to come forward. we get the fresh recruits. they get the retirements. the public is, shall we say, inclined to support democrats. the recent elections have demonstrated that, because they are in places where elections were taking place. th so in any case, it's an opportunity. i know it's going to go very fast. only 11 months from now. just think back to the last election 13 months ago. time goes by. we're not going to underutilize any resource or opportunity to make our case to differentiate
and to mobilize. and we have a great chairman to do that. i'm very proud of him. our members are unified. our message is a better deal. but the stronger message that we are conveying is a message of unity. and unity is the most eloquent statement, because it says shared values. that's what unifies us, not anything else but shared values. and that value is the health, education and well-being of our children, the security of working families in our country. that's why we're here. so we look forward to seeing how things go. as i say to the members, one good day at a time, one good week at a time, one good month at a time. the time, for sure, will go by. thank you all very much. i don't know if we'll see you again. if not, please enjoy the holidays. merry christmas, happy hanukkah,
kwanza, whatever it is you're celebrating, enjoy your friends. my colleague coming up now is a humanist. i don't know what i say to him. but enjoy your family and friends. this is the advice i give my colleagues, recreation and re-creation. you have to go home and recrea e recreate. y don't feel guilty about recreation. it's part of your re-creation to affect the fight for the american people. happy holidays to all of you. thank you. >> are the democrats going to vote for the disaster supplemental --